Yan Kim - Rezekne University of Applied Sciences in Latvia

Up to this point, I did not have anything to do with Latvia. I did not know practically anything about this country. And now I will tell you about my experience in Latvia. I have lived here for 5 months and I have something to tell.

I was born in Ukraine, but I am studying in Poland, I also travel a lot, so I can compare Latvia with different countries and maybe you will learn something that you have never noticed. In the list of countries where I could go to I had: Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, Romania, and Latvia. Why did I choose Latvia? First of all, it is the only country that lets me to cover all costs with my grant. It was the main reason. Secondly, I learned on the Internet that 30% of the population can speak Russian and the culture of our countries is very similar.

My journey here took as long as 3 days. On the bus, the stewardess was from Rezekne, and she said that the population of this city is 20,000 people. I was very surprised because my native city has 120 000 of population and in Ukraine my city is considered as a small one. I arrived on Saturday at 22.30. I did not have where to live because Saturday is a day off and no one could give me the keys to my dormitory room. I arranged with my guardian that she would meet me and provide me with accommodation until I was settled in the dormitory. On the way from the bus station to the house the city seemed nice to me. Next 2 days I was with a guardian. She showed me the city, we were in different cafes and the best thing was that we were speaking in Russian. It was very convenient and I was pleased.

On Monday I moved to the dormitory. There I met a few problems. In the documents I indicated that I would like to live alone, but upon arrival I was told that there are no free single rooms, and they settled me with students from India and Turkey. After excellent conditions in the apartment of my guardian and after my experience in the Polish dormitory I was unpleasantly surprised. Living conditions left much to be desired. I began to search for the other houses, but in the morning they told me that the single room was free and I moved there. My new room was better and I decided to stay.

University surprised me pleasantly. A modern, beautiful building. I immediately found a common language with all the teachers and it seemed that everything was fine. A few weeks later, when I got used to the city, I became bored. I started looking for a job. I found music studio, went to the gym, joined the wrestle team and became a volunteer at Polish school. As it turned out, I collected too much work, which became difficult to manage. When all my classmates had gone on the trip, I was left alone. I became very bored.

Luckily a month later I went to see my friends in Riga. I spent several days there and got different impressions. Riga was a small city with a beautiful but small center and with high prices. I was surprised that much more than 30% of the population speak Russian. The behavior of the young people seemed to me very strange. In Latvia, people are tolerant of everything, so among the youth there are a lot of guys who look like girls. I noticed that many people do not respect the elders and ignore the rules of etiquette. I am not saying that it is worse here than in Ukraine or Poland, but I did not see anything new. The attitude of young guys to girls is also very strange. I noticed that the guys in Europe do not know how to care of the girls. It seemed strange to me that a girl pays for herself, or even for her boyfriend. This is considered shameful in Ukraine. I am talking about teenagers, because adults are the same here as in Ukraine, friendly and educated. Since I have not visited any museums, I can not say anything about cultural development. In general, Riga is a very good city, but too small for the capital. I would like to come here in a couple of decades to see today's youth of Riga when they grow up. On the last day I tasted very delicious sushi in Riga and left with pleasant thoughts.

Since my return from Riga, my life has stopped. Every day was like the previous one. I was very bored and I did not do much. Summing up, I can say the following. Latvia is an unusually small country with high prices. I liked everything here, but it was just a little. Very similar in mentality people also speak Russian. In Rezekne there is a very beautiful place Anchupani where we sometimes went for a grill. The most interesting thing is that people in Rezekne I liked more than in Riga. Here they are more open and similar to people who are familiar to me. I am talking about the youth.

I am glad that I had a chance to live in Latvia and I do not regret that I chose this country. This essay is my last assignment. After a few days I leave to home. Before Ukraine, I decided to visit a few more countries, such as Germany, Netherlands, and Spain. I hope my trip will be interesting. I do not exclude the possibility that I will come to Riga again. It was nice to get acquainted with such a small but interesting country like Latvia.




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